Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Invisible Man

“They were prepared for scars, disfigurements, tangible horrors, but nothing!”

The Invisible man by H.G Wells is much like the Time Machine in that they both have a very apt title since thee Time Machine was about a Time Machine and the Invisible Man does indeed heavily feature a man who is invisible. The Invisible Man (pictured) is a highly self centred Albino -presumably his severe lack of skin pigmentation aided his transparency experiments- physics student by the name of Griffin who finally cracks the secret to invisibility just as his landlord evicts him for assault and violations of his tenants’ agreement. In order to keep his secret and thus future fame and wealth secure he makes himself invisible and burns the house down to make sure what equipment he can’t escape with is destroyed lest someone else figure out the secret by chance when the machinery is pawned off to cover Griffins outstanding rent.

However just because he is invisible does not make him invulnerable, he has no invisible clothing (though he did find a way to make fabric invisible during an early experiment he had to smash his apparatus to avoid detection before he could make some clothing invisible and so is stuck naked) and its the middle of Winter, this means he is faced with a dilemma stay invisible and thus risk freezing or discovery from various tell tales, foot prints in the snow, and wet outlines in the rain etc. Or acquiring clothing which would due to the fact that his body is invisible make him much more visible then a normal person, as he would appear as some sort of clothed phantasm. Fortunately for Griffin he finds that by the use of Bandaging and a fake noise and dark glasses he can remedy the situation somewhat though it still draws much more attention than the average person, as passers by often stop and stae trying to figure out what is wrong with him.

After performing a series of burglaries in London to acquire funds to rebuild his laboratory and test out the limits of his stealth, Griffin who has managed to acquire a suitable disguise (well sort of, the curious populace constantly probe him as to the nature of what appear to be extensive injuries) and enough money to purchase some lab equipment and chemicals he decides to flee to the Sussex countryside to the village of Iping were he rents a room in order to work out a way to reverse the procedure when needed. As he fully intends to use his Invisibility to benefit him greatly but needs to become visible now and again to interact with the locals. However the combination of his strange appearance and his strange behaviour (he gets very short tempered and highly paranoid about very minor impediments) and the fact that there have been a number of very suspicious robberies since his arrival bring him to a confrontation with the local constable and village magistrate, there he finally snaps losing his grip on what restraint he had and reveals himself to whole village and now lost in a frenzy he begins to assault and terrorise the village before escaping to a neighbouring port.

Now that the whole countryside believes in the invisible man (he made the front page of all the local papers) his quest for power becomes that much more difficult. He attempts to elevate this by recruiting a local tramp to be a sort of money box and pack mule for his things. Unfortunately the partnership is not a happy one with Mr Marvel the Tramp soon wishing to get out of it and constantly incurring Griffins wrath to the point where Marvel decides to hell with it and steals Griffins journals that contain all his work and equations and promptly legs it for the police station with an irate Griffin fast on his heels, in his attempt to murder Marvel in another of his increasingly frequent fits of rage Griffin is shot and is forced to escape to a nearby house to rest and patch himself up. It is there that Griffin discovers that the house belongs to his old Colleague at University Dr Kemp. Griffin tries to recruit Kemp to his schemes thinking him to be a more reliable ally then Marvel, since surely an intelligent man of learning like the good Dr. Kemp can see the great vision that is to be Griffins on personal fiefdom and naturally want to share in it as his accomplice right?

Kemp however quiet sensibly decides that Griffin s a Narcissistic monster after hearing the revelations of Griffins discovery of invisibility wants nothing to do with Griffins "reign of terror" and instead arranges for the arrest of Griffin while pretending to be sympathetic to Griffins egotistical remorseless ramblings.When Kemps plan to capture Griffin goes awry Griffin goes into yet another maddened rage and instead of escaping after giving the police the slip stays in the area with the intention of coming back and killing Kemp, then presumably Mr Marvel and then reclaiming his books. During the frequent scuffles with Kemp and the Police in a number of houses and streets Griffin is able to finally get his hands round Kemp's throat just outside the local tram station but before he can throttle him is set upon by a mob of townspeople who had little difficulty grabbing and beating Griffin since he had his hands on Kemp's throat. Griffin is beaten to death by the mob and slowly becomes visible again as a bloodied and naked corpse and there it ends.

Or does it?

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